Rise in crime in Chandigarh: HC summons SSP, puts Union home secy on notice
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Rise in crime in Chandigarh: HC summons SSP, puts Union home secy on notice

Spurt in snatchings: Punjab and Haryana high court trashes reasons listed out by Chandigarh police for rise in crime and efforts to curb it.

punjab Updated: Mar 22, 2018 10:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Rise in crime,crime in Chandigarh,SSP
HC bench trashed the report submitted by Chandigarh police, wherein the department had listed out reasons behind the rise in crime and efforts being made to curb it. (HT File/Representative image )

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday summoned UT senior superintendent of police (SSP) Nilambari Vijay Jagdale while putting the Union home secretary on notice for April 4 over spurt in snatching cases in the city.

What court said :
  • On stricter law: Snatching is happening every day in the city and you are referring it to Delhi. Tomorrow, you will do same for thefts. Why do you always refer everything to Delhi? Do something on your own. On submission that proposal to make offence bailable is pending before MHA
  • On easy bails: HC can’t be a mute spectator. Those judicial officers who gave bail despite you saying that certain accused was a repeat offender are not fit for the service in Chandigarh. We will repatriate them.
  • On poor policing: After 6pm, police presence is zero. PCRs are there but policemen sitting idle... Senior citizens are afraid of coming out of their houses during late hours due to growing menace of chain snatching.

The high court (HC) bench of justices AK Mittal and Anupinder Singh Grewal also trashed the report submitted by the UT police, wherein the department had listed out reasons behind the rise in crime and efforts being made to curb it. As many as 73 snatchings have been reported in the city this year, with the police managing to solve only 32 cases so far. Motorcycle-borne miscreants have mostly been targeting elderly women, leaving them injured while snatching their gold chains.

The court has been hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a lawyer, HC Arora, who had demanded that police be directed to take steps to curb snatchings. Even during the last hearing, the court had come down heavily on police, telling them to “have a heart” and empathise with the victims.

Punjab drug crackdown is to blame: Police

Listing out reasons for the spurt in crime in the UT, Chandigarh Police told the court that after Punjab launched a crackdown on drug addicts, they are making a beeline for the city. Police said most of the accused are repeat offenders and indulge in substance abuse. Raising concern on the existing law, police said those arrested easily get bail and many times the sureties turn out to be fake.

Police also attributed the crime to festive season and weddings, when people “come out in their best finery”.

The high court took note of a report carried in Hindustan Times on Wednesday, which stated that the Union home ministry is sitting on a proposal to increase punishment for snatching from three years to up to 10 years and making the offence non-bailable.

The UT police last year had made the recommendation to the administration last year. A proposal was sent to the Centre in April. The draft recommendations were based on the amendments made by Punjab in laws related to snatching in 2010. Even Haryana had made the amendment later.

At this stage, the HC issued notice to Union home secretary and sought reply by April 4.

The police also told court that against the requirement of 15,000 cameras in the city, 14,000 have been installed by residents. Police also said that out of 947 cases reported in past five years, 643 have been solved.

First Published: Mar 22, 2018 10:06 IST